La Pavoni 120v mistakenly plugged into 220v but still working

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
satoken

#1: Post by satoken »

Greeting from a newbie both in this 4rum and using La Pavoni !
I am sorry for my poor English.

I got my first La Pavoni LP pre-mil (dated Apr 2000) from an owner in Canada and didn't check that it only runs on 120v. I was using it in Canada without any problem. It took about 7 minutes to heat up (from initial ~18 oC).

After returning home, I have been using it (the machine) about 4 times to make espresso by plugging it into 220v outlet. I am surprised because the boiling time is so quick, just about 2-3 minutes (initial ~24 oC). I doubted myself then questioned the previous owner in Canada. He then told me that he changed the heating element from 230v (originally made in Italy) to 120v. Fortunately, the heating coil is still working. Now for sure I am using a transformer to convert 220v to 120v so that it is working like it was in Canada. The boiling time is now 7-9 minutes.

Although the 120v was mistakenly plugged into the 220v outlet, the machine is still working. I am wondering the heating coil will fail someday because the wrong voltages have been applied to it. I would appreciate receiving your comments/inputs.

Thanks and cheers.

Voltage on the technical stamp (230v):


The replaced 120v heating coil element which made me confused.

Sw1ssdude

#2: Post by Sw1ssdude »

Welcome to Home Barista!

according to ohms law, voltage equals current times resistance (U = R * I ) and Power equals Current times Voltage (P = U * I)

A 120 volt element that delivers 1000 watts consumes around 8.3 ampere (I = P / U), and therefore has a resistance of around 14.4 Ohms (I=U/R)

if you suddenly push 220 volts through this element, it consumes 15.2 amps, and produces 3'340 Watts, almost double the power! this might kill your element at some point, and trip your outlet fuse.

If your element has not failed yet, i think it is safe to use with a 120 volt transformator, but make sure your machine is grounded (some transformators have no ground connection).

If it fails, you can install a new 220V element. they are readily available.
Lean Mean Caffeine Machine

User avatar
Kaffee Bitte

#3: Post by Kaffee Bitte »

There are 230v conversion kits available from multiple suppliers. Not terribly difficult to do and won't need to worry about the transformer.
Lynn G.
LMWDP # 110
____________________

satoken (original poster)

#4: Post by satoken (original poster) »

Thank you so much, Sw1ssdude
Your explanation is very informative.
I am now using a 120 volt transformer and it works well.
Cheers.
Sw1ssdude wrote:Welcome to Home Barista!

according to ohms law, voltage equals current times resistance (U = R * I ) and Power equals Current times Voltage (P = U * I)

A 120 volt element that delivers 1000 watts consumes around 8.3 ampere (I = P / U), and therefore has a resistance of around 14.4 Ohms (I=U/R)

if you suddenly push 220 volts through this element, it consumes 15.2 amps, and produces 3'340 Watts, almost double the power! this might kill your element at some point, and trip your outlet fuse.

If your element has not failed yet, i think it is safe to use with a 120 volt transformator, but make sure your machine is grounded (some transformators have no ground connection).

If it fails, you can install a new 220V element. they are readily available.

satoken (original poster)

#5: Post by satoken (original poster) »

Thank you so much, Kaffee Bitte
I am now using a transformer for converting from 220v to 120v.
Cheers.
Kaffee Bitte wrote:There are 230v conversion kits available from multiple suppliers. Not terribly difficult to do and won't need to worry about the transformer.